The Hilton Garden Inn in Aberdeen recently received an HGI Strong, Brighthearted award. This achievement rewards the top percent of the region’s Hilton Garden Inns based on guest experience.
The doors opened last December on this third hotel developed by the McPeake family. The $ 15 million facility includes 103 rooms, an on-site restaurant, bar, and 1,500 square foot conference center. It serves as the flagship of the family alongside the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton and TownePlace Suites by Marriott properties, located behind the Aberdeen Commons Shopping Center off of US 15-501.
“This award is based on customer experience. It makes him so special to us. It’s nice to get recognition from Hilton who thinks we’re doing a good job. But it’s important to us that our customers think we’re doing a good job, ”said Bonnie McPeake.
When the hotel opened last winter, one of their main concerns was recruiting staff.
“We were hiring all new staff at a terrible time, possibly the worst ever,” McPeake said.
General Manager David Byers said they had been “very lucky” with the hiring of catering staff and had not had as much difficulty as many other hotels in retaining their housekeeping staff. He estimated that the facility is currently 95 percent staffed.
“We’ve been able to hire some really good people and that has contributed a lot to our success here,” said Byer.
Byer was the first person hired for the new facility. He was brought in before the actual construction to help run the hotel, literally, from scratch. Sammy McPeake, who oversees the family’s business operations, also visited the construction site almost daily throughout the process.
The Hilton Garden Inn serves primarily business travelers, including many in the military, with a smaller proportion of leisure travelers in the mix.
McPeake said their occupancy rates and Average Daily Rates (ADR) have far exceeded their initial projections. Moore County has seen a resurgence in tourism and golf interests, but that’s not the only factor at play, she said.
“The key here is the brand. Hitlon and Marriott, to me, are the best brands and they drive business. For the owner of the hotel, it is a lot of comfort. I don’t feel like I have to be here. I have a staff that I trust, and HIlton will make sure they have what they need to know to do well, ”said McPeake.
The Hilton Garden Inn is located at 155 Hill Road in Aberdeen. For more information or to reserve, visit www.hilton.com or call (910) 692-0801.